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Roger Hecht
American Record Guide, January 2014

This is an exuberant, extroverted, and lively performance, with tempos pretty consistent…Tone is bright, and rhythms are crisp…

The sound of the recording is close up and spectacular with terrific bass and is very much in the spirit of the interpretation. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Dave Saemann
Fanfare, January 2014

The sound engineering on the CD layer is excellent, with a large soundstage and plenty of color. Stenz’s Seventh definitely is a major statement of this work. I think it earns a place beside any recordings you happen to have. For insight and clarity, it is hard to beat. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

John Quinn
MusicWeb International, September 2013

Markus Stenz’s reading opens strongly; the rhythms are well defined and the baleful tenor horn is given good prominence. As this substantial movement unfolds Stenz brings out the grotesque and stentorian aspects of the music very successfully.

The first of the two ‘Nachtmusiken’ is a spooky march which several of Mahler’s associates…Stenz and his top class orchestra bring out this “fantastic chiaroscuro” very well indeed in a performance that lets us hear all the piquancy of Mahler’s scoring. The rhythms are well articulated and between them the performers and the Oehms engineers achieve excellent clarity.

This is a pretty impressive reading of the Seventh and it’s a very good addition to Stenz’s Mahler cycle. I listened to the performance in conventional CD format and it seems to me that the Oehms engineers have provided bright, clean and clear sound which is well-suited to this score. I look forward to the concluding instalments in this Cologne Mahler series. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Robert Benson, September 2013

Markus Stenz continues his fine Mahler series with the Gürzenich Orchestra with this splendid performance of Symphony No. 7. There is no lack of recordings of this rather macabre symphony…However, this new one approaches it in intensity, particularly in the final movement—the burst of bells in the final pages…have never sounded so exuberant. Superb audio is another plus, with fine ambient sound from rear speakers. An outstanding Mahler issue! © 2013 Read complete review

Blair Sanderson, August 2013

Markus Stenz…delivers a taut and exciting reading that never meanders. The orchestra plays with its customary excellence, delivering the score’s unusual tone colors and strange effects with vivid clarity, giving the music expressions of a highly dramatic and bizarre nature…The audiophile reproduction of this hybrid SACD captures the extraordinary dynamic range of the performance, and the multichannel recording gives the orchestra credible presence and deep dimensions. If any recording does justice to this quirky masterpiece, this one is certainly among the most recommendable, and it ranks as one of the best of 2013. © 2013 Read complete review

Graham Williams, June 2013

With the choice, even on SACD, of more than a dozen accounts of Mahler’s 7th Symphony any newcomer will need to possess some special qualities to commend it to the ears of jaded Mahlerites. I believe, however, that this new Oehms release does have qualities that make its acquisition very worthwhile even in this crowded field.

This latest issue in the Mahler cycle from Markus Stenz and his excellent Gürzenich Orchestra…benefits from the superb acoustic of the Kölner Philharmonie. The sound quality on this SACD is quite magnificent. The brass playing is rich and incisive, the string playing smooth and supple whilst Mahler’s extensive use of percussion is delivered through one’s speakers with thrilling immediacy and clarity. The orchestral image has great presence and the bass is particularly deep and firm…

The atmosphere of a truly ‘live’ performance is also conveyed with remarkable realism.

Those who have acquired any of the earlier issues in this bracing cycle…will definitely not be disappointed with this one. Newcomers and assiduous collectors will surely also be impressed with Stenz’s refreshingly straightforward and unmannered approach to Mahler.

Definitely recommended. © 2013 Read complete review

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